Delta School offers an array of services to its students to further enhance their educational experience. Services are provided through a students’ I.E.P. and tailored to the unique needs of the child. All of these services are provided at no cost to the family and do not affect a family’s ability to obtain services in the community. Providing these services allows Delta to address not only the academic need of our students, but their social and emotional needs also. The services provided by Delta include: counseling/mental health; speech and language; occupational and physical therapies and transportation.
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
The mission of the mental health team is to deliver services with a family-oriented, child-centered focus. We utilize a strengths based perspective building upon those positive aspects that each child has to offer in a supportive and nurturing environment. It is our mission to help each child see their uniqueness as an individual and to maximize their potential.
Each student at Delta is assigned a counselor with whom he/she will work. Students receive individual and group therapies, as well as crisis intervention when needed. Counseling services are part of the related services provided through the I.E.P. Delta employs a Certified School Psychologist and Licensed Social Workers as the mental health team. The team upholds strict ethical standards governed by confidentiality in practice. All mental health providers are on campus full time. Our psychologist is able to administer various testing during school hours.
The mental health staff assists students with social and emotional issues that may adversely affect their academic progress. It is common for our students to require assistance around academic difficulty. Treatment focuses on the development of positive coping skills to help students deal with frustration in a socially appropriate manner. Students also work on developing social skills through techniques such as role-plays and community based activities.
In addition to the function of counseling, the mental health team writes and implements behavioral plans for all children with the assistance of classroom teachers. Progress on these plans is sent home on a quarterly basis so parents can see how their child is doing. Our staff meets with outside agencies, provides case management and service coordination to further assist the families of our students.
During school hours, a school nurse is always present and available to the students. The school nurse is able to dispense medications to the students, as prescribed by a physician, as long as parents/guardians provide the supply of prescription medications to be administered.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SERVICES
OT is a treatment to assist in developing and becoming more independent in activities of daily living. As it is the child’s occupation to be a student, these services focus on the skill set that will improve a child’s ability to learn. The skills associated with OT focus on improving fine and gross motor skills as well as academics and social skills. For example, a child may struggle to manipulate a pencil resulting in illegible penmanship or struggle in gym class to perform physical activities. The OT works with teachers and other service providers to aid in removing barriers to a student’s learning process. When a child is able to perform these basic tasks, the door to learning is opened.
The OT participates in treatment planning for the students with whom they work. The OT assists in creating goals as part of the I.E.P. and works in conjunction with a multi-disciplinary team to monitor achievement in this area.
A parent or teacher may request in writing that their child is evaluated for OT. Services are provided in group and/or individual formats depending on the needs of the student. Sessions last 30 minutes and may occur once or twice a week.
SPEECH THERAPY SERVICES
Speech-language pathologists, sometimes called speech therapists, assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing, fluency, and other related disorders.
Speech-language pathologists work with people who cannot produce speech sounds, or cannot produce them clearly; those with speech rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering; people with voice disorders, such as inappropriate pitch or harsh voice; those with problems understanding and producing language; those who wish to improve their communication skills by modifying an accent; and those with cognitive communication impairments, such as attention, memory, and problem solving disorders. They also work with people who have swallowing difficulties.
Speech, language, and swallowing difficulties can result from a variety of causes including stroke, brain injury or deterioration, developmental delays or disorders, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, cleft palate, voice pathology, mental retardation, hearing loss, or emotional problems. The Speech therapist will use qualitative and quantitative assessment methods, including standardized tests to analyze and diagnose the nature and extent of speech, language, and swallowing impairments. Our speech therapist can evaluate your child if you feel that there may be a need for speech services upon written request.
The speech therapist will develop goals in an individualized education plan, tailoring services to address the student’s needs. In addition to providing individual and group speech services, the Delta Speech therapist counsels individuals and their families concerning communication disorders and how to cope with the stress and misunderstanding that often accompany them. They also work with family members to recognize and change behavior patterns that impede communication and treatment and show them communication-enhancing techniques to use at home.
Frequently Asked Questions: Speech and Language Disorders in the School Setting
What types of speech and language disorders affect school-age children?
Children may experience one or more of the following disorders:
speech sound disorders – (difficulty pronouncing sounds)
language disorders – (difficulty understanding what they hear as well as expressing themselves with words)
cognitive-communication disorders – (difficulty with thinking skills including perception, memory, awareness, reasoning, judgment, intellect and imagination)
stuttering (fluency) disorders – (interruption of the flow of speech that may include hesitations, repetitions, prolongations of sounds or words)
voice disorders – (quality of voice that may include hoarseness, nasality, volume (too loud or soft)
Do speech-language disorders affect learning?
Speech and language skills are essential to academic success and learning. Language is the basis of communication. Reading, writing, gesturing, listening, and speaking are all forms of language. Learning takes place through the process of communication. The ability to communicate with peers and adults in the educational setting is essential for a student to succeed in school.
How may a speech-language disorder affect school performance?
Children with communication disorders frequently do not perform at grade level. They may struggle with reading, have difficulty understanding and expressing language, misunderstand social cues, avoid attending school, show poor judgment, and have difficulty with tests.
Difficulty in learning to listen, speak, read, or write can result from problems in language development. Problems can occur in the production, comprehension, and awareness of language sounds, syllables, words, sentences, and conversation. Individuals with reading and writing problems also may have trouble using language to communicate, think, and learn.
How do parents and school personnel work together to insure that children get the speech-language support they need?
Parents and teachers should refer any student who shows signs of a speech-language disorder or delay to the school-based child study team. Screening, assessment, and treatment of communication problems may involve cooperative efforts with:
SLPs work with diagnostic and educational evaluation teams to provide comprehensive language and speech assessments for students. Services to students with speech-language disorders may be provided in individual or small group sessions, in classrooms when teaming with teachers or in a consultative model with teachers and parents. SLPs integrate students' speech-language goals with academic outcomes and functional performance.
- Speech-language pathologists (SLPs)
- social workers
- Classroom teachers
- Special education teachers
- Guidance counselors
What do I do if I think my child has speech and language delays?
If you have concerns regarding your child’s speech and language development, you need to seek out an evaluation from a speech language pathologist. With the use of various assessment tools, we can determine your child’s eligibility or illegibility for services.
Please feel free to contact the Speech Department at Delta School. Our phone number is 215-632-5904 Ext.1202.